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The ‘Fumbling’ Atta Mills’ Government

Tue, 27 Oct 2009 Source: Opare-Asamoa, Yaw

-Of Lies, Deception and Incompetence!!

Yaw Opare-Asamoa


The good people of Ghana certainly deserve better than what Atta Mills and his NDC have ‘dished’ out so far; and then again maybe they don’t. Maybe the people are getting exactly what they voted for-lies, deception and incompetence!

The Akans say ‘agoro be ye de a, efiri anopa’-This NDC government has been fumbling left, right and centre; and it started right at the President’s inauguration. When Atta Mills could not repeat the Oath correctly, many wondered whether that was a precursor of things to come. Well I guess those individuals need not wonder any more. The Atta Mills government just cannot get anything done and done right.

The National Service Secretariat is ‘boiling up’. Workers of the NSS are resigning en masse to protest the behaviour of the Executive Director. One would have thought that having such a potentially explosive situation to deal with would make this Director take a step back and have another look at what’s going on but no, not this Sena Kuagbenu guy. Instead he continues to come up with one silly idea after the other. Would somebody explain to me why our college graduates should undergo a compulsory military training as part of their national service? I thought the decision to undergo military training was voluntary and personal! And where did this idea of associating the military with self-discipline and responsible behaviour come from? The Military may have certain qualities but certainly in Ghana, the history of our military does not say much about discipline and responsibility. Were they not responsible for all the coups in the country? If ever we needed any reminders as to how detrimental those coups have been to this country, we can always look at Malaysia or Singapore or South Korea. One does not need military training to be disciplined and responsible!!

Another silly idea from this Executive Director is the proposed policy of sending national service personnel to work on farms. The least said about this the better. Would the President kick this guy out before he causes more damage to the Secretariat? It is now being reported that he has gone ahead to replace the protesting workers with new ones. Is that the solution to whatever problems there are? Now let’s see what the labour laws of Ghana say about this.That is just one area where Atta Mills and his government have been fumbling. Other areas include the School Feeding Programme, the National Health Insurance Scheme, and the general Education Policy of the country. The general direction of the economy is south-bound and investor confidence is in close pursuit.

But probably the most serious is the inability of the Atta Mills NDC government to ensure regular and constant supply of fuel. I mean can it really get any worse!! The President organized a durbar for the workers of TOR and ‘assured’ them ‘government will soon make crude oil available for the smooth operation in the refinery’ Wasn’t he the same person who announced from Nigeria many months (June 19, 2009) ago that he has secured a deal with the Nigerian government? That deal was supposed to have increased Nigeria’s supply to Ghana to about 60,000 and 65,000 barrels a day. At the time the NDC touted the deal as being far better than what the NPP government had secured earlier. We are in October and we are still being told to have faith in Atta Mills’ promises. After this announcement came the news report that the Nigerian government was shutting down the Warri and Port Harcourt refineries due to the unavailability of crude for their operations-this was announced on June 24, 2009. So the big question is why did Atta Mills not come back to tell the people of Ghana the true state of affairs? Could Atta Mills and the NDC ever tell the people of Ghana the truth, just for once? (Anybody interested could go read my article “Petropolitics, NDC and Hypocrisy” submitted to Ghanaweb on June 3, 2009.) Faced with a potential fuel crisis, the President used the opportunity to tell the workers of TOR this: “...We know the problem, but my brothers and sisters let me ask you, how many Heads of State have visited you in the past. So if I’m here then it is because we want a way out of the present difficulties” Just how is his presence at TOR going to ensure the supply of crude oil? O how reassuring!!

Let me assure the President that the workers of TOR could care less about his visit as long as they get the crude oil they need to continue their operations. How many people in Ghana, if faced with the situation to make a choice would choose a visit from the President over accessibility to safe-drinking pipe borne water? Just provide the water and save your visit!! And we shouldn’t forget that this is the same man who readily gave himself 80% after his first 100 days in office. I wonder what grade he would decide on at this time of his presidency.

After vilifying the NPP government for selecting Sahara Oil to lift the Oil for Ghana, I hear the Atta Mills NDC government are now ready to negotiate with, yes, Sahara Oil-the very same one! I am waiting to see what ‘saint’ Bagbin would say this time around. He led the crusade against Sahara Oil during the NPP era. He and his colleagues did not think that Sahara Oil was fit to do the job. Well, that was 2002 and this is 2009 so I guess a lot has changed since!

Those of us who make it our business to study the political landscape can attest to the lies and deceptions that the NDC indulged in during the run-up to the 2008 elections. They had able lieutenants in the persons of Agyenim Boateng, Okudzeto Ablakwa, Fiifi Kweetey and Baba Jamal. They have all been consequently adequately rewarded for jobs well done. Now that they are in government and fumbling, they have resorted to diversions to take the focus away from their incompentence. But unfortunately for them, operating in Opposition and actual ‘governing’ are two separate entities- and that is the stark reality! They cannot point to the government as being the problem, since they are in government now, so then it must be the fault of the previous government. So there must be something terribly wrong with the Vodafone deal; and at all cost rope in the former President. The same people would go ‘dumb’ when it comes to the M&J (Mills & Jerry) saga. Suddenly the Mo Ibrahim award (or rather non-award) presents another opportunity for such individuals to divert attention once again. For Nana Biakoye it is like having been presented with the keys to Heaven. I have no ideas whether this Nana Biakoye has any children or not but certainly he/she can state his/her opinions without resorting to insults. Such ‘colourful’ language serves no purpose. It is always important that the elders of the society set good examples for those coming up behind us. Nana Biakoye knows all about kickbacks as far the NPP is concerned but he/she is completely ignorant when it involves the NDC.

As far as the Mo Ibrahim award is concerned, the initial nominations should be questioned and not the latter decision not to give out the award. Why did they go through with nominees if they knew they were not going to give out the award? If they knew nobody ‘qualified’ they should have said so from the beginning. As things stand now, it leaves much to the imagination as to what exactly might have happened. So for me, the issue is what happened? The Ghana Journalist Association is known to completely defer the award for ‘journalist of the year’ for certain years. The GJA does not bother to nominate candidates only to say, o, sorry we can’t give out the awards. The Mo Ibrahim Foundation set out to give out the award until something stopped them. It is that ‘something’ that our investigative journalists should concern themselves with and find out.

The NDC can go on with their lies and deceptions, but surely their incompetence would catch up with them sooner than later.

Written and submitted on October 26, 2009

Columnist: Opare-Asamoa, Yaw